Review: Gal*Gun: Double Peace (PS4/PSV)

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible No
  • Cross-Buy No
  • Cross-Save Yes
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
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Title: Gal*Gun: Double Peace
Format: Blu-ray Disc, Game Card / PlayStation Network Download (PS4 2.75 GB) (PSV 1.37 GB)
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: pqube
Developer: Inti Creates
Original MSRP: $59.99 (PS4) / $39.99 (PSV)
ESRB Rating: M
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is exclusive to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita download versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Normally, being shot by a love-arrow, or gun, would be a good thing. However in Houdai’s case, the angel who shot him accidentally used a full power shot. Now instead of being a little more attractive women, Houdai is insanely popular. Unfortunately a side effect of the extra lovin’ is that Houdai will be extremely unlucky with women for the rest of his life, once the shot wears off.

So Houdai only has the rest of the day to find his fated partner and confess his love to them. He’ll have to avoid the throngs of girls trying to get to him while doing it but if he can find someone he truly loves before the love shot wears off, he can avoid the future where he his forever alone.

Gameplay:
Gal*Gun Double Peace is about as silly of a concept as they come. In general, I feel that some media sites like to cherry pick examples to perpetuate the “wacky Japan” stereotype. However, Gal*Gun is pretty wacky and it is a game that I couldn’t see being made anywhere but Japan.

The main premise is that the player is trying to fend off love-stricken girls using “pheromone shots.” The game plays like a typical on-rails shooter, where the player controls the shooting but not any of the movement, however all of the enemies are high school girls who have been wooed by the protagonist’s super charged mojo.

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Failing to shoot girls quickly enough will give them time to shout their feelings or present the player with a love letter. Both of these things damage the player because reasons… I mean because Houdai, the player, has to find his true love before the end of the day. Or something. The premise doesn’t hold up 100%.

Houdai’s pheromone shots are extra effective if they hit a girl’s weak point however that weak point varies from girl to girl. Hitting it serves as a one-hit-KO making it a valuable tool plus getting multiple in a row gives the player a chain bonus to help with high score chasing.

Houdai can also use doki-doki mode. Activating this will pause the real world and let the player focus in on one, two, or three girls. The player can then touch or rub the girl(s) to pleasure them and doing so enough will cause them to let off a huge “love bomb” when the gameplay proper resumes.

… the game’s formula is actually pretty solid …
The single player story is actually pretty short. It takes place over a dozen or so separate stages with a couple of boss battles and minigames interspersed within. Overall, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to beat though, so fortunately the game includes some replayability.

There are half a dozen different scenarios to play, each with a slightly different story and some unique stages. Plus many stages give the player an option on which direction to go, giving them multiple routes to explore.

Finally, Gal*Gun also hides a ton of secrets such as unlockable costumes and a ghost girl hidden in some levels, which is further helped by the multiple routes in the game.

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There isn’t too much else going on here though. Score attack mode lets the player either play a story scenario without the story bits or select individual stages and mini-games to play.

Collection hosts stats as well as a roster of the girls in the game and the information the player has on them, which is gained by finding their student handbook or doki-doki-ing them in game. Lastly a dressing room lets the player swap out the girls’ outfits with any they find in the game, or buy as DLC.

Wacky or no, the game’s formula is actually pretty solid. In fact, this is actually the second game in the series, though the original Gal*Gun on PS3/360 was never officially translated.

… knows when to take itself seriously and when not to …
Fortunately for Western players then, the references to the first game are mostly easter eggs that don’t impact the story of. One scenario makes a few overt references but is fully understandable without knowledge of the first game.

Gal*Gun is one of those games I can’t help but enjoy. From a gameplay standpoint, nothing really stands out but the silly heart of the game really makes it shine. It clearly knows when to take itself seriously and when not to, exercising the latter pretty regularly.

Side note: Unlike its predecessor on PS3, Gal*Gun Double Peace unfortunately does not support the Move controller on PS4. Several of the minigames rely on the touch pad or touchscreen so it is unlikely that they will patch in support for Move.

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Vita Version

Visuals:
When viewed from a technical standpoint, the visuals are one of the weakest parts of the game. On the PS4, the game looks like it could easily run on a PS3. And though I’d give the Vita version a pass for its visuals on their own, that version comes with a few performance issues instead.

On the Vita, the initial load time, when first booting the game, is well over a minute and each stage has a pretty long load time as well. On top of that, the Vita has some framerate issues that can make the game look choppy. Fortunately it’s not enough to make the game unplayable though. In fact, my current highest scoring run was the one I did on the Vita.

… I personally would not play this game with my grandmother present …
From a non technical standpoint though, the game looks fine. The girls are, of course, cute and have a lot of variety to appeal to many players. And the school the game takes place in has an assortment of locales, from classrooms and the cafeteria to underground tunnels and A/C ducting, to keep stages feeling fresh.

I’d be remiss to not bring up the game’s rating though. Gal*Gun is rated M by the ESRB and the reason is clearly the graphics. Zooming in while playing lets the player look through certain objects, including clothing, giving a look at the outline of the girl’s undergarments. On top of that, there are plenty of up-skirt moments and a purchaseable item that makes it even easier to see their underwear when zooming.

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Whether these aspects help the game or hinder it are a matter of personal debate and one which I won’t assume to press on any individual reader. However, I will say that I personally would not play this game with my grandmother present so I believe it is an aspect worth bringing up. I’ve tempered some of the screenshots in this review to keep it SFW but here are some examples of how far the game goes. Link Link Link Link

Audio:
It probably goes without saying that this game did not receive an English dub. All of the story moments are subtitled of course, but any in-game speech isn’t. This only really means that stuff said during doki-doki mode and phrases shouted by girls aren’t translated. They’re mostly variations of “I love you” though, from what I can tell, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.

… The length is a slight concern …
The soundtrack is fun and upbeat to match the framework of the rest of the game. Overall I didn’t think it was particularly memorable but I did like the j-pop-y ending themes the game has. There are several different songs for that, depending on which ending the player accomplished for that run.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

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Conclusion:
Gal*Gun Double Peace is the kind of silly idea that I can’t help but enjoy. The on-rails shooter genre isn’t big on consoles where modern control schemes now allow for more player engagement, but this manages to make it work with mostly just a funny premise. And cute girls.

The length is a slight concern as is the fact that the only thing to do after completing the game’s roughly six endings is to tediously grind out each girl’s full profile. It does give a good dozen or more hours of gameplay before that point though, so I still think I’d recommend the game to anyone without an aversion to the risqué style.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature and the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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